You Don’t Have to Be Happy

You don't have to be happyLet’s be honest. There’s pressure to put the happy in our holiday.

And if gift-giving, family gatherings, and expectations weren’t enough, we’re told to do it all with a bit of cheer.

But what if you don’t feel merry or thankful? And your season isn’t bright?

Everywhere we look, we’re told that happiness is the key to success, health, longevity, mental strength and relationships. But I wonder; is our “don’t worry, be happy” mantra really working?

If there’s one message you won’t hear from Hallmark or see in your Facebook feed, it’s this:

You do not have to be happy. Happiness is not a requirement for a good (or godly) life. Continue reading

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A Living Hope: I am fearless

My hope and strength for this life are rooted in the next. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, I can be fearless in both life and death.  Continue reading

3 Ways to Follow God When Your Path is Unclear

By the time we rolled into the sleepy town, dusk had turned to dark. We had joined our friends for a weekend getaway up north, where the only grocery store for miles around is named after ol’ man Jim.

We moseyed our way through the national forest, finally pulling to a stop in the middle of the woods. I peered out of the window in confusion. There was no cabin in sight.

Now, I knew our destination was completely off the grid. No electricity. No running water. The bathroom was an outhouse, for goodness sake. The only thing keeping my husband and I cozy that frozen night would be a wood-burning fireplace and heavy flannel blankets.

But no one, NOT ONE soul told me we would be hiking a mile through the woods with our gear strapped to our backs. In the pitch black of night.

Clutching my pillow, I reluctantly vacated the safety of the car. Snow crunched under my feet as the unusual noises of nature kicked my pulse up a notch. Continue reading

3 Critical Steps for Change

3 critical steps for changeWant to change your life this year? Tired of the same old bad habits? Are you feeling defeated, overwhelmed, and hopeless?

Me too.

For a long time I felt like I was spinning my wheels and going nowhere. I needed a better way to live life. One that actually creates change instead of just more of the same. Continue reading

9 Inspiring Books to Read this Year

I recently did something crazy. Last time this happened, I was a teenager.

I asked for books for Christmas.

LOTS of books.

I literally came away from Christmas morning grinning like a nerd, stacks of reading material in hand.

Or maybe that’s normal for you. But I haven’t asked or received a book as a gift in over a decade. And that’s because I’ve been a TV-aholic for the last number of years (Downton Abbey? Anyone?). Continue reading

5 ways to keep God first this year

5 ways to keep God firstLooking for one way to dramatically impact your year? Keeping God first will radically change your life. You’ll experience more joy, peace, vision, and fulfillment by the end of the year and see God move in ways you never thought possible.

But for that to happen, a little reflection is needed. Our tendency is to drift away from God instead of toward Him. If you keep God first in these 5 areas of your life, it will result in tremendous personal growth and change over this next year. Continue reading